The last year has had a profound impact on our collective mental health as we’ve had to adapt to a very different way of life, juggle responsibilities and deal with insecurity and uncertainty about our future.
As we move into the next phase, with our collective and individual resilience having been tested beyond all expectations, we’ve been talking to our ambassador partner FSCS about how flexible working and other initiatives have helped support the wellbeing of their workforce over the last year.
At the heart of the FSCS strategy is an open, honest, and supportive culture which enables people to bring the best of themselves to work. Trust has played a big part in this- showing people that you trust them is key to building a positive and happy workplace – whether you are in the office or working from home.
The next step for FSCS has been empowering their teams and letting them decide on a work pattern that best suits them. Traditional working patterns are not for everyone, and people’s needs often vary greatly over the course of their career. By giving employees the opportunity to shape their working day, many of the pressures and anxieties that come with trying to shoe-horn personal circumstances and responsibilities into the hard-structural barrier of 9-5 are removed.
FSCS have looked long and hard at the role and purpose of the office as a physical space and the impact that this can have on the wellbeing of teams. The office should be a destination – during these pandemic times, the lack of social connectivity has increased the desire of many workers to return. For others, a return to the pre-covid status quo means a return to an environment of stressful commutes and corporate controlled presenteeism. FSCS are committed to making the office space a place for collaboration and social connection – encouraging staff to spend on average 40% of their time in the office. They encourage colleagues to see work as an activity, not a place, and think about the most productive environment for what they need to deliver. This has includes a new workplace design (a result of an employee consultation programme) which includes a more open-plan layout, more comfortable and practical furniture such as sit-stand desks; and collaboration spaces.
According to David Blackburn Chartered CCIPD, Chief People Officer at FSCS, “The look and feel of our workplace is changing and our work is no longer one size fits all – so where you want to work, when you want to work and what you want to wear is for you, your line manager and your team to agree. We want our colleagues to think about the outcomes they are working to deliver and the most productive environment for the best results: Your Day, Your Way.”
Then there is recognition of your employees as people first and foremost. During Covid-19, FSCS encouraged staff to take advantage of their flexible working policy and increased the amount of paid leave for parents and carers in the first lockdown, to ease the stress of balancing work and home life. Interactions with staff went far beyond work and they also set up various virtual exercise and wellbeing classes run by staff, including cardio workouts, meditation and yoga.
FSCS also launched their expanded Wellbeing Strategy in January, which focuses on five key aspects of life that influence our wellbeing: physical, emotional, social, financial and career. They have a team of mental health first aiders who staff can reach out to if they are experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress. This interaction could range from an initial conversation to supporting the person to get appropriate help.
We are thrilled to have Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) as our brilliant ambassador partner for 2021.
Why FSCS? Their award winning employee value proposition is that they are an organisation that makes a difference and in which their employees can make a difference, helping millions of people to get back on track when financial services fail.
FSCS are long-standing pioneers of inclusivity and flexible working yet their policy is deceptively simple, putting their teams and people at the centre of how they work smarter to live better ‘Your Day, Your Way’